After a self-imposed exile from social media earlier this week, “Arrow” star Stephen Amell returned to Facebook to respond to a fan’s heart-felt video about his comments regarding Texas and Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old who was taken away in handcuffs after a teacher worried a clock he built was a “hoax bomb.”
On Wednesday, Amell tweeted, “Stereotyping Texas isn’t any better than stereotyping Ahmed. Just so we’re clear.”
After receiving a negative response to his tweet, Amell said he was stepping away “for a bit” from social media. But a video from one of his fans, Jennifer Wattley, that was posted to his Facebook page brought the actor back.
“Okay, so I’ve been asked to share this video that I made with you, and I sincerely hope that you’ll take it in the manner it was meant–to be helpful,” Wattley wrote in her introduction. “To help you understand a different POV than your own. To help you see why some of us ‘bored’ internet people were/are hurt. This is not to antagonize, but to shed light on a POV you’ll never understand without facing some things. None of us think you’re a bad person, we’re just disappointed, which happens. But we want you to know why.”
Amell responded, “… thanks for taking the time. I know that a lot of people wouldn’t put themselves out there in front of a large audience and produce something so raw. I’m also appreciative because part of the reason this whole ordeal metastasized is anonymity. The other 99% was me commenting on a social issue / doubling down / saying I was going away and then doubling (tripling) down again because I felt mistreated by a few headlines. (Poor me… I know.) This led to me poking the bear… and here we are. Now… I’m could go point / counterpoint on your video. You saying I don’t care… that I don’t get it… that I was simply equating two things when I explicitly stated that was not my intention… I don’t want to do that. I want to apologize. For a couple of reasons. First, just because. Pride gets in the way sometimes. So let’s get rid of that. I’m sorry. If you were offended, found me trite or disingenuous, I’m sorry. Second, I made specific statements… but in a medium where people can’t hear my tone of voice, and the inability to be particular in tone made people that were in my corner (that’s a weird thing to type) feel disrespected. So I’m sorry. I have a very, very large audience, a high school education and no safety net or filter in front of me. I’m an actor. I’m not a Professor of sociology or an expert on the psychology of anyone who has to exist in any culture as a minority. I’m not an expert on religion or the history of particular regions. Quite simply I should have left things to smarter people. So again, I’m sorry. Concurrently, this whole social (media) experiment is a two way street. I come forward with no filter and that has engendered me a lot of good faith. If that faith is jeopardized… Well, I’d regret that any of this happened even more than I already do. You be well, Jennifer. And if anyone feels like Jennifer, then please consider this abnormally long paragraph penance for a few lousy days in an otherwise fruitful relationship. I’m sorry. And everything being equal, I’d really like to move on.”
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